Inspiration

6th Blog Anniversary

6 yrs ann

Say what?

OK, this was/is my original platform and I haven’t used it much in the last year. But, that hasn’t kept me from blogging.

I am still here. I still think about Understanding, Optional every day. I look at those drafts sitting there and I think, “I should do something with those.” Yet, I can’t find in me to push publish.

Weird how that works, right? So, I find that my other blog (if you have payed attention in the past you already know about it…or you have time to dig through the archives here) has taken a bit more of my time since I do it nearly daily.

I’ll still publish here from time to time, so don’t “Unfollow.” This blog just has a different vibe to it and isn’t suitable for an every day kind of publishing.

Keep an eye out though, I’ll have something soon.

In the meantime, I think I’ll have a beer, perhaps a stout or a porter, to celebrate.

CHEERS!

Let it go

man carrying black and gold briefcase

Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

Cliche title, I know.

But, I am learning that there are some things in life that you just have to let go of.

Hopes. Dreams. Friendships. Family. The past.

Pieces of those things continue on, but at some point you just have to accept that some things, some people, just don’t belong in your life any longer. As such, you have to let go.

Yes, some things are harder than others. Yes, some people are harder to let go than others. But what you realize once you have done it is that you are free. Free from the weight of expectations. Free from the glare of failure. Free from the hope in something that isn’t going to happen. Free. Just free. No more guilt. No more angst. Free from worry. No more.

There are going to be tough days ahead. It’s not going to be easy, but if you know it in your heart you need to make it happen.

You don’t have to explain. You don’t have to rationalize. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Except you. You owe it to yourself.

Just let it go.

Superstitious View

I visited Arizona a couple years ago, again, and we were near the Superstition Mountains. These mountains brought back fond memories of a college backpacking trip during Spring break of ’94. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures I took and edited on my iPhone. Enjoy!!

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Do you have a favorite mountain or mountains? Do you visit them often or just admire them in a photo?

It’s time to go hiking again, I think. The weather is almost there…

Blog mile markers

I don’t have much substance to today’s post. It is just really a review of things that have taken place in the last couple weeks with my blogs, and a chance to stop and smell the roses. Oh, and I should probably say thanks too.

First, let me say thanks to all who have stopped and read (an assumption) and “Liked” a post or two around here. I appreciate it very much! As such, you have helped me get Understanding, Optional to one of those blog mile markers:

1000k UO

I started this particular blog just because I wanted to have discussion on topics that mattered outside of the classroom. Now that I am outside of the classroom, I still want to have to conversations that matter but sometimes it seems harder and harder to engage and audience that is more voyeuristic than anything. I guess a “like” here and there is at least acknowledgement that someone is stopping by on occasion.

The other thing I wanted to acknowledge is that my other blog, Piss and Moan, has also hit some blog mile markers. Strangely, it has taken less time but I also publish nearly every weekday there. Obviously, the topics are less serious but they do seem to engage more people in conversation. Is it weird how we all have similar complaints, irritations, and struggles? Probably not, because we’re human but it is still nice to put a voice to the challenges and commiserate with like minded people.

So, the blog miles markers are similar and different at the same time:

200 posts PM1000k PM

While it was never meant to be a serious blog, it has seemed to resonate with some people. It also seems to resonate with those “blog spammers” who want to sell anything and everything…maybe I need to write another blog on that…another day, another topic. If you want to help Piss and Moan hit some other blog mile markers, go take a look at it and give it a follow. I would appreciate it!

Anyway, all that to celebrate the life of two blogs and to say THANKS! You keep looking and liking and I’ll keep writing!

 

Accountability of Weight: 1 year later

color colour fitness health

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the twelfth, and final, update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

Not much gained…er, lost.

Yeah, that is incredibly discouraging. I mean really, the loss of weight over the last year really comes down to water (probably). I am disappointed. But, I guess I am not disappointed enough because, well, I didn’t really do the WORK needed to lose more weight than I did. I tried doing it via just monitoring what I ate and even then I didn’t really do a great job at it.

What I am trying to say is that I am disappointed in me, not the results. I made a commitment to myself to get healthier and I just didn’t follow through with it. I paid it lip service (as well as food, LOL) and just didn’t ever really make an effort. That realization sucks.

Highlights:

I learned some things about me and my aging body.

I can’t just watch what I eat, or how much, any more. I actually need to put some physical effort into it. My body doesn’t metabolize food like it used to and burning calories takes effort. I need to train my body to do it again.

As such, since the beginning of January, I have been on a pretty regular workout schedule. I am just building up stamina and getting some strength back, so I have a long way to go. BUT, that is the goal, right? To be consistent and to be mindful of the effort it takes to make things happen. I can already see changes in my physical structure – even if there isn’t evidence on the scale. I know it is important to keep that in mind!

Also, I visited my doctor to see what things, from their perspective would be good for me to change. This is kind of a big thing for me, since the last time I saw a doc was three years ago. So, there’s that. It was helpful and after a blood test I also learned that the cholesterol level is elevated and needs to come down. Nothing drastic at this point, but that adds additional motivation to the “diet and exercise changes” that have to happen.

Progress. Baby steps. One day at a time.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    3.0  = pounds lost as of the morning of 2/19/19

207.0  = current weight

If you have stopped by during this journey, if you have offered encouragement during this last year, THANK YOU. I appreciated the support and appreciated the suggestions. It may not have turned out like I thought or intended it would, but I learned some things along the way. That is for sure!

The journey has not ended. It will continue, but I won’t be updating it on here any more. Well, maybe not on a regular basis. Obviously, once I achieve the desired goal, I will certainly do some celebrating here – so stick around.

 

Are you paying attention?

man and woman holding check signage

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Well, folks, here we are again.

What do you guys want to talk about? Any ideas?

Should we do a poll and you vote on the next topic of discussion? I am constantly debating with myself. Do I tackle a serious topic or just talk about the inane fluff of life? What do you think? What kind of topics do you want to discuss?

Next week is the final update in my Accountability of Weight series, so after that I don’t have anything planned.

Let’s have a vote, shall we?!?

Vote in the comments from three options:

 – serious topic

 – inane fluff of life

 – something personal

 

Brush with celebrity

person holding round smiling emoji board photo

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Every once in a while, you just feel special. Not because you did anything, but because you were in the right place at the right time. Not because a person you admire has done anything extraordinary (though some times they have), but because they took time to notice you when they didn’t have to.

I have had brushes with celebrity, to varying degrees. The encounters make me smile. The celebrity likely doesn’t remember the encounter or know that they even made someone’s day. But they did, and it matters to you.

I am sure that I will have more encounters, hopefully that is. I am also sure that I have probably had brushes with celebrities that I didn’t even know I had (someone becomes famous after knowing them or maybe I didn’t recognize them). But so far, these three are the ones that stand out, so I get to tell you about it because I can.

Buck Compton

That name probably doesn’t ring a bell for you, at least not right away. But, it will once I tell you more about who he is.

Buck was a real American hero (read about him at the link). A man of extraordinary accomplishments who was as humble as they come. He was just doing his job and that’s all it was. It just had to be done. He was one of the soldiers featured in the Band of Brothers series.

As a result of my time with Buck, I also got to meet other celebrities. The actors from the Band of Brothers series showed up at his 90th birthday party. It was cool to meet them too.

Unfortunately, I met Buck late in his life and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him. He came to my classroom and talked with my students. He knew my name and appreciated that I was a history teacher. We met a couple other times since he lived here locally and was accessible. He liked to tell me his experiences. I loved to listen.

Mike Rowe

I’ve never met him, but I admire him.

I ran into Mike on social media. Facebook, to be exact. It was a chance encounter. It was the result of a little podcast (not so little any more) called, “The Way I Heard It,” which he created along the lines of the genre that made Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” iconic. I just happened to listen to episode 88, “The Missiles of December,” and loved it so much that I commented on his Facebook post regarding the podcast.

I never expected a response. He is, after all, a celebrity and doesn’t have time for me (though if you look at many of his posts he does respond to quite a few people). So, once again, my day was made and he doesn’t even know he put a smile on my face.

mike facebook

 

Beauty Beyond Bones

Finally, there is a blogger who has captured my attention. Not in a weird way, but in a way that slightly intrigues me because someone else is paying attention to me, or at least what I write.

She is a “celebrity” of sorts, though I have a feeling she would say she isn’t. She has over 40k followers, people who take notice when she speaks, when she shares, when she tells it like it is. The gets lots of comments, likes, and her influence is growing. She has lots of things going on in her life and she is doing pretty well at making people take notice.

I have never met her either. But, I can say that it brings me great pleasure when I see the notice below in my email box. She has “Liked” one of the posts from my two blogs (this one or the other shown below). Sometimes she even likes a post from each of them in the same day! Imagine that!?!

Here’s the thing, though. It isn’t just a “like” (at least I don’t think it is) because “likes” in social media are usually turned around so that you “like” their stuff and follow them, only to get ignored or “unfollowed” shortly thereafter. I truly believe she reads what I have written and she likes what I have to say. That brings a smile to my face as well.

It is something small, but it feels good.

bbb like

So, have you had a brush with celebrity? Tell me about it in the comments. Share your story!

Accountability of Weight: Update #11

person on elliptical trainer

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the eleventh update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

As I predicted, “eating season” didn’t go well. Man, it is hard to lay off all the treats. As such, the weight that had been lost was all back at the first of the year. No progress.

Yeah, that doesn’t feel good, even if it was only a little progress. I’d like to say the scale is a lier, but it only tells the truth. The truth is that painful.

Highlights:

Weight loss doesn’t just happen from changing your diet. Sure you can probably do one of those fad diets and lose weight, but will it stay off? Probably not. As soon as you go back to eating, it’s gonna come back. It is only a matter of time. So, ….

Time to add more effort. I have been working out on the elliptical 4-5 days a week and still watching what I eat. Already I can tell a difference in posture and how I feel afterwards (energy up a little?). I am sleeping better and I am drinking more water as a result. The scale doesn’t show much progress yet, but I am convinced that this is the only way to lose the weight. It isn’t gonna happen just from cutting calories. There has to be more effort. Sweat equity. Time to build it.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    1.2   = pounds lost as of the morning of 1/14/19

208.8  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #10

This is the tenth update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

I am sure you are all aware of this already, but we are getting into “eating season,” again, and it hasn’t been going well.

Cookies? Ok, I’ll eat those.

Donuts? Oh, sure why not.

Cake? Well, I haven’t had any of that today.

Going in the wrong direction anyone? I’ll take two steps back and a do not pass go, thank you.

Highlights:

I am thinking that I am gonna have to do something different and I am not sure what. This plan I had for the year just isn’t working like I was hoping it would and the results are just not there. No, wait, the results are there…just the wrong results. Right? So, the question is, I realize the way I am going about it now isn’t working so what am I going to do to change it?

Not sure that is a highlight, but a shred of something is a shred of something. I’m thinking that I am going to need some external help since the internal motivation just isn’t as high as I thought it was. Two months to go and something is really going to have to change!

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    4.0   = pounds lost as of the morning of 12/18

206.0  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.